Skew-T Meteorologist in Kansas City

Town of Barry

Map of the Town of Barry in 1877
Map of the Town of Barry in 1877

The area about a mile south of my home in northern Kansas City, on the other side of Highway 152, was once the town of Barry, now remembered by the major east-west thoroughfare having been renamed Barry Road. Founded in 1829 the frontier town was named for the then US Postmaster General.

Peter Hardeman Burnett, Barry resident and governor of California
Peter Hardeman Burnett, Barry resident and governor of California

There were a few buildings constructed as early as 1822, 14 years prior to the area immediately to the west being acquired by the United States in the Platte Purchase. The most well known settler from Barry was Peter Hardeman Burnett.

Burnett had little formal education and taught himself law and government, owning the general store before begin a career in law that included defending Joseph Smith. Burnett argued for a change of venue, during which Smith and his companions escaped and made their way to Illinois. Moving west in the 1840s Burnett was a state legislator in Oregon, where he helped pass African-American exclusion laws. During the California Gold Rush he moved to California, met the son of gold discoverer John Sutter, and was quickly employed selling land in the new city of Sacramento. He went on to be the first civilian governor of California, establishing cabinet posts and appointing senators for the new state, and saw most of his exclusion and anti-immigration legislative efforts fail.

Plaque on the 152 Trail
Plaque on the 152 Trail

Nothing noticeable remains of Barry beyond the basic road layout. Road widening in the 1980s removed whatever was left of the town. The rural two lane Barry and Baugham Streets were replaced by five and four lane boulevards. Old Stagecoach Road is still fairly narrow leading into a residential development, nearly hidden from the large intersection.

Intersection of Barry Road and Platte Purchase Drive today
Intersection of Barry Road and Platte Purchase Drive today

Warm Memorial Day Weekend

Too warm for Mocha
Too warm for Mocha

Kansas City International Airport reached 93°F today, one degree short of its daily record. Nearby St. Joseph topped out at 99, a new record.

My car reading 96 degrees
My car reading 96 degrees

Spanish Coffee

Spanish coffee at La Bodega
Spanish coffee at La Bodega

Wallace State Park

Lake Allaman
Lake Allaman

Wallace State Park was created in 1932 when citizens convinced the Missouri state government to purchase the 121 acres of land, who named the park after the previous landholders. The Works Progress Administration performed much of the initial development. It's about a 45 minute drive outside of Kansas City, on Interstate 35, near Cameron and I think perhaps the second or third closest state park to the metro. Some of the natural wooded landscape has been preserved, though neighboring roads are apparent through bare spring trees and farm ponds and the artificial lake reveal 20th century development of this area.

GPS track of hiking though the park. Background map OSM contributors.
GPS track of hiking though the park. Background map OSM contributors.

Vienna

Main hall at EGU2018
Main hall at EGU2018

Last week I traveled to Vienna, Austria to attend the European Geophysics Union General Assembly 2018 (EGU2018). It was great to represent our work among an international community and see the wide variety of work being done in related sciences.

It was also great to have a chance to see Vienna. I had previously visited the western end of the country (Upper Austria) driving down the Inn valley from Switzerland through Innsbruck and southeastern Germany to Salzburg. This was my first time in Lower Austria on the edge of Western Europe and long the center of the Hapsburg monarchy.

Café Central, a traditional Viennese café opened in 1876 that quickly became an intellectual hangout, with regulars including Sigmund Freud, Theodor Herzl, Adolf Hitler, and Leon Trotsky
Café Central, a traditional Viennese café opened in 1876 that quickly became an intellectual hangout, with regulars including Sigmund Freud, Theodor Herzl, Adolf Hitler, and Leon Trotsky

Following World War II, Austria was occupied by the Allies with Vienna divided into sectors, similar to Berlin, in the middle of Soviet occupied Eastern Austria. It is this divided, war-torn Vienna that is the setting for the iconic film The Third Man. We visited the building that played home to Harry Lime's apartment and the Ferris wheel where Martins and Lime meet. The rubble is long gone but the iconic buildings that survived the war still stand today.

Harry Lime's apartment building in _The Third Man_
Harry Lime's apartment building in The Third Man
Ferris wheel in _The Third Man_
Ferris wheel in The Third Man

The occupation ended in 1955 and the signs of the division are not that apparent today. I was curious exactly where I would have been, and so created a map of some GPS tracks I had recorded overlayed on the post-World War II occupation zones. I couldn't something readily available; luckily the sectors were designated among the same city districts that exist today, so I was able to take the OpenStreetMap district boundaries and add a field for the sector to categorize. The shapefile is available for download.

Central Vienna with GPS tracks and post-WWII occupation zones. Background map credit OSM contributors.
Central Vienna with GPS tracks and post-WWII occupation zones. Background map credit OSM contributors.

The Globe Museum, part of the Austrian National Library, is the only such public museum of globes in the world. The collection spans hundreds of years and offers an interesting perspective on how people viewed the world at different times in history through the unique form. Admission also included entry to the Esperanto Museum on the floor below of the Palais Mollard-Clary, primarily a massive collection of works in Esperanto and other planned languages with some insight into the reasoning for development and persecution of such ideas.

Display case at the Globe Museum in the Austrian National Library
Display case at the Globe Museum in the Austrian National Library
Vegetarian _pfeffersteak_ at Veggiezz
Vegetarian pfeffersteak at Veggiezz